Greg Bartram, USA TODAY

Bank Bag: OSU Regular Season Finale-II

Ohio State concluded another impressive regular season under Urban Meyer last week with a victory over Michigan, and are on their way to the playoffs. Bill Greene is here to answer questions from BSB subscribers. Here is Part-Two.

buckballs: Do you think having JT and Samuel back would make tOSU odds on favorite to win it all next year? Are you glad the strike is over? I had to turn FB off. I have lots of people not speaking to each other in Louisville.

BG: I would think Ohio State is going to be highly ranked with or without those two going into next season. Samuel returning would shock me, but if he does it definitely helps Ohio State's chances. Not sure what Barrett does, but they want him back for sure. I actually moved out of Louisville a few years ago, so I'm not really familiar with the details of what went down there. 

deano52700: I am thankful we have Gareon Conley, but if I recall correctly he was committed to ttun. What if any was the reason he ended up at TOSU?

BG: Gareon never really went through the recruiting process at all. Became a known recruit after his junior year. Michigan offered that winter and he took it. Fast forward to the fall of his senior year and the attention really started. Ohio State offered late because they weren't sure of his play and weren't sure they could get him. Once he got to know everyone at Ohio State it was over. 

BuckeyeBK: Anyone making late run in OH state playoffs that OSU will look at? Whos next 2018 commit? Do you buy into Samuel and Hooker returning? Latimore and Conley are gone, right?

BG: Don't think there's anyone in the senior class in-state they're looking at. The next 2018 commit could be offensive lineman Juice Scruggs. I see no chance Hooker returns and I really don't think Samuel will either. I have both Conley and Lattimore gone. I think all four should go from a financial standpoint, but if any of them loves being in Columbus and don't feel ready they should come back. I think all four will go when the deadline draws near.

victor64: You talk about WR upgrade. Can JT get them the ball? We always hear about Urban changing the passing game but he doesn't. Why not? I read somewhere that Urban's offense is not good in bad weather. As good as he is, I have a hard time believing that he hasn't adjusted to Big Ten Weather. Thoughts?

BG: I think J.T. has regressed badly the past two years as a passer, and he's throwing it as badly as ever the past two weeks. There's no reason to change things so far, because they're 61-5, but I think the change has to come when Barrett leaves. Ohio State has not really played in "bad" weather yet. They can't throw the ball well, and really have struggled throwing it for five years. It's not the weather. They just haven't had good passers, and the offense is designed to run the football, not throw it. And they are winning it a record pace, so it's not like they aren't an elite program. 

brett5958: I have a general recruiting question you may have answered before but if so I missed it. Do you feel there are certain positions where instinct and being a natural football player can override being a step slow or a few inches short and conversely are there positions where you feel like you can take that great combine athlete, track guy, basketball player , etc , but who may be lacking in feel or instinct or whatever you want to call it and turn them into a player. Thanks

BG: Great question, but too tough to answer that broadly. If you had a specific player it would be an easier answer. At the Ohio State level, it's very tough to overcome being a tad slow or a tad small. If you look at the lineup under Urban, there are almost always top of the chart guys at every spot. The offensive line is where we've seen a Jacoby Boren, Darryl Baldwin or Chase Farris succeed, but for the most part this isn't happening at Ohio State. When you watch Ohio State or Alabama you don't see too many recruiting "sleepers" out there. For the most part it's elite athletes across the board. And future pros. 

buckzip: Bill, I have to believe that Urban can't be happy about the regression of his QB and offense. I know you can't mention names, but have you heard any rumblings about coaching replacements on the offensive side of the ball or do you think it remains as it is?

BG: I would agree and this offense has really dropped off a cliff the past two games. But if they go ahead and win the national title with wins over Clemson and Alabama it's going to be hard to fire coaches. Let's see how the season finishes and then we can better answer that question. 

bucknutsinurface: Bill finish out the remainder of the class. Also, next year could be one of the most talented teams on paper. Does Urban hire a true oc or qb coach?

BG: Flat impossible to finish out this class today because there could be two new names pop up tomorrow. Agree on next year being very talented and a lot depends on who leaves and who returns. Too soon to speculate on coaching changes.

JohnCarrollBuckeye: if Urban had to do it all over again, does Urban take Butt over Baugh or would he want both players?

BG: I think he would want the better player, and there's no doubt who that is. The funny thing is when I watch Jake Butt play, he is exactly what I thought Marcus Baugh would be. When I saw Baugh all week at Under Armor, I was convinced he was going to be an All-American. I would have taken Baugh over Butt coming out of high school too. 

KansasCityBuckeye: I'm out of Ohio. What's going on with Cleveland Glennville? I hear nothing about Ted Ginn or Tarblooder recruits anymore. What is Meyer's relationship there? Harbaugh's?

BG: Meyer and Ginn have a decent relationship, but there just hasn't been the quality of player there the past few years. I feel the same way with Harbaugh, but there just haven't been Ohio State or Michigan type players lately.

BadHabit48: Much of the talk so far has been on the 2017 guys, so let's switch to the 2018 guys that visited. Is there legitimate between OSU and Michael Thompson? How about Verdis Brown? Jamaree Salyer?

BG: Yes on all three. But I think Salyer will probably stay South. They might be able to get better than Verdis Brown, but he impressed at Ohio State's camp. I like Thompson a lot, and they have a real shot with him for sure. Right now, they are focusing heavily on the in-state juniors trying to lock them up, then branch out nationally. 

buckeyebones: What's your outlook on conference championships? Rather than define who the best teams are they seem to complicate the picture.  Is there a way that conferences pit the 2 teams with the best records against each other for the CC rather than divisional champs?

BG: No, that will never work. Every team knows what they need to do to win their conference when the season starts, so I think where it is now is fine. 

buckeyebones: Any other Jr. college surprises lurking?

BG: Kendall Sheffield was a great enough surprise, LOL. Nobody I'm aware of right now. 

joebuckeye: Who are our MLBs next year?  Can Booker play MLB? Can Pete Werner (down the road) play MLB?

BG: Maybe Tuf Borland grabs that spot next year, or possibly Justin Hilliard? Tough to say. Booker has the size and frame to play there, but I don't think anyone would describe him as physical because he's a very finesse type of player. I kind of think Werner can grow into a Mike in time, and he might be the answer in a few years. 

buckeyebones: I'm missing Devin. I think he made our QBs look better than they were on deep balls. Any of the new receivers going to fill his shoes?

BG: I would think Trevon Grimes or Binjimen Victor could be deep threats going forward, and Tyjon Lindsey has good speed as well. I would like to see Parris Campbell, Curtis Samuel or K.J. Hill sent deep right now, just to keep defenses honest.

ohiostate2002NC: Why is special teams overall so bad this year except for punting.

BG: Unless I'm missing something I don't think I would say the special teams have been bad at all. The kickoff coverage is good, and I think the punt coverage is really good too. The kicker does the best he can, and he only really hurt them last week against Michigan. The punter is the best in the country. 


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